6 Interesting VAT Facts

Here you will find the 6 most interesting facts about value added tax that you probably didn't know.
fact 1

VAT was first introduced in France in 1954. The UK VAT rate was originally set at 10% and gradually increased over time, rising to 20% in 2011, and has remained so ever since.

fact 2

In the 2019/2020 tax year, the UK generated £129.88 billion in VAT revenue. VAT is the third largest source of government revenue after income tax and National Insurance.

fact 3

Hungary has the highest VAT rate in the world at 27%, followed by Iceland with 25.5%. Countries that don't charge VAT at all include the Bahamas, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

fact 4

Brands that have fought and won VAT victories include Jaffa Cakes and Tunnocks Snowballs, which have successfully proven that their products are cakes (VAT-free) and not cookies, which in turn are subject to VAT.

fact 5

The highlight for the media was the emergence of Pastygate in 2012. The government's proposal to start charging VAT on takeout items such as hot sausage rolls and pastries met with widespread disapproval.

fact 6

Goods with a zero rate of VAT in the UK include: children's clothing, most foodstuffs, books and prescription drugs. Other items not subject to VAT include visits to museums, antiques and postal services.

Antony Kidless
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Antony Kidless
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